Guest Post: The Unveiling

 

By Caroline Crockett Brock

A veiled Mormon woman is the ultimate expression of the collective female energy allowed to operate in the LDS church today. The collective “one of us” that remains unknown and unrevealed to ourselves and others.

Sure, she can breathe, but not deeply.
She can talk, but not loudly.
She can act, but not independently.

LDS leaders can, with their benign patriarchy, announce that women will now be “unveiled”.
They can proclaim that 2019 will be the year she can finally access and follow God directly.
But will this change truly address the deep underlying dynamics of “spiritual foot binding” women face as members of a church made by men for men? Is this a glorious new revelation or a reversal of a false truth perpetuated through the generations until enough men and women left the church in protest of its pernicious spiritual effects?

Every soul can have deep communion with God. No veils. No husband to bring a wife through to God’s presence. None need permission, and in fact, the process of spiritual enlightenment was never meant to be done with intermediaries—husband, priest or otherwise. To claim this new change with anything other than a deep and sincere apology is disturbing and insulting.

The energetic veil on Mormon women will remain until women stop asking for permission from leaders to do the following:

—Explore what a relationship with both God the Mother and God the Father feels like (news flash: it doesn’t require handshakes or secret words).
—Experiment with giving blessings of healing on our children and others in need.
—Pronounce matriarchal blessings.
—Develop a voice and generate a unique will in alignment with our soul’s inherent gifts and abilities.
—Understand what it means to access deeper states of embodied existence and higher states of consciousness.
—Explore what feminine spirituality looks like (spoiler alert: it’s not what is modeled in the church).
—Cultivate the ability to ask seek and knock with the great and terrible questions—ones that surface from deepest parts of our souls rather than from curriculum manuals or general conference talks.

Until the normal, rank and file woman in this church can speak without seeking an apology or asking permission, act without first getting approval, and breathe as though she deserves to occupy as much space in this church as men do—the true, energetic veil remains.

What is “revealed” is that this all male leadership wants to unveil us so we can seem equal while they continue to author and manage their own version of female godliness, asking us to simply bow our heads and say “yes”.

If our response is anything but yes, we are often seen as being ungrateful or unfaithful, especially given the recent changes. There is a feeling by others that we are women who will never be satisfied. Yet true satisfaction comes when the soul experiences a ceremony that honors, respects and feeds a soul–expanding consciousness and awareness of the deeper aspects of this mortal experience.

My response to those wondering if I’ll come back to an “adjusted” ceremony is currently the following:

Until the story of Adam and Eve is portrayed as a multi-layered yet flawed myth, historically used to justify the domination of men over women, I will not be back.

Until we recognize that signs and tokens (special knowledge) will never get a soul to heaven, and their use in the temple is superfluous and arcane, I will not participate.

Until the serpent is re-installed as a symbol for divine wisdom and an invitation to greater consciousness, rather than Satan, it will continue to obfuscate the sacred process of enlightenment it seeks to teach, and I will not support the propagation of false truths.

Until men and women are taught that the wilderness is a beautiful and wild place where a soul strikes out and learns to generate her own will in harmony with love and truth, the ceremony will be diluted, polluted and unfulfilling.

Until we have the humility to recognize the entire ceremony (from initiatories, to endowment, sealings, prayer circles and temple prep) needs the other half of it (feminine spiritual truths and access points to God) to even begin to be workable rather than “adjustments” made by men, it will not serve my holy purposes or fulfill my desires.

It’s not that I’m hard to please, it’s that I’ve lived in the garden.
I’ve eaten the apple.
I’ve died the death of immature and unwhole truths I was so smugly certain of
I braved the wilderness, and built my own fleshy altars.
I have entertained messengers from the mother–messengers I repeatedly rebuffed because I had only been taught to value male-based spirituality.

I have lain in the cold dark nights in that wilderness, longing for the safety and innocence of the garden again, knowing I could not return.

And slowly, I learned to pray my own prayers–not in rote fashion with hands in the air, but with the vibrations of my soul. With embodied living–garment and veil free.

I have forged a new life in this wilderness, one that is driven by desires and abundance rather than duty and sacrifice.

Higher laws are not lived in the gardens of our ignorance and certainty.

Even if they asked me to officiate in the temple–to stand in front of the altar and direct the ceremony, I would not return.

In my experience, the Garden’s Gate only swings one way.

So, while men in Salt Lake are arranging focus groups and handing out surveys, while they are tabulating diminishing tithing slips and trying to understand the dynamics behind a business model-type religion whose customer base is quickly shrinking, Ones of Us are arising and emerging from the wilderness. Ones of Us are bringing holy offerings for all to partake. Ones of Us are modeling heretofore unknown ways of moving through this world as a woman.

Sisters, arise and unveil yourselves.
Leave the garden of immaturity, certainty and ignorance.
Draw in that primordial breath whose depth and breadth can pull the tides.
It’s time to knock the mallet on the door of your feminine soul and invite yourself in.

Ones of us are gathering.

 

Written by Caroline Crockett Brock. Mother. Wife. Writer. Goddess in Embryo.

You may also like...

10 Responses

  1. Ari says:

    I love this! You’re right. We have to claim our power. We can’t ask the patriarchy to divest themselves of power; they will always withhold just enough to keep us subservient. It’s human nature. We have to claim our priestesshood ourselves!

    • Caroline Brock says:

      Thank you Ari. I agree. I think in the process of claiming the sovereignty of our own souls, we develop the will and strength to truly step into our own authentic selves. The struggle up and out, while messy, confusing and downright miserable at times, is absolutely essential for the growth of a soul. You’re right–it won’t ever be handed to us on a platter. Priestesshood (and I’m actually shooting for better than the equivalent of priests, since that structure is from a wounded male mindset) is available to all who will receive. Thanks for the comment and for reading. 🙂

  2. Lisa Murphy says:

    This is beyond brilliant, poetic, profound. Articulating the inarticulate-able. Caroline Crockett Brock: can we be friends? I love you! Your beautiful brain. Your poetic soul. Your deep heart.
    From another One, who is searching, circling, gathering, unveiling, growing with the Goddess.

    • Caroline Brock says:

      Thank you Lisa. I’d love that. Knowing that you, too, are knee deep in the waters of transformation yourself is comforting and thrilling! Of course we can be friends. Look me up on facebook and you can PM me!

    • Caroline Brock says:

      HI Dakota. I’m struggling to understand your comment in a positive way. Perhaps my piece triggered some anger in you, and, rather than provide thoughtful counterarguments, you decided to make a glib remark. I’ve had moments like that in my life.
      I will never leave my LDS tribe. I will continually call out from the fringes, hoping those who are ready to leave the safety and innocence of the garden will understand they are not alone. I call out so they’ll find the courage they need to step out of the gates and pay the price for wisdom and transformation. There is truly, no other way.
      Adios my friend. Until we meet again.

  3. Cameron says:

    I neither fully agree nor disagree with what you’re saying here, but I too have been desperately wanting to say something about the veil. I have read that many women are relieved that they no longer have to veil their faces. I can understand why. But I don’t share their feelings, because for me, putting on the veil is one of my favorite parts of the endowment ceremony.

    I am a very in-my-head person. I don’t like crowds. I prefer doing things alone to doing things in groups. So when I put the veil over my face, after going through all the parts of the endowment in unison with a big group of people, I finally feel like I am alone with God. The veil doesn’t separate me from God, it gives me privacy with Him even when I’m among others.

    For you, the veil is a powerful symbol of oppression. For me it is a powerful symbol of God’s care for me as an individual. Isn’t it strange how we can all see the same thing in so many different ways? Thank God that we are all needed in His heavenly chorus.

    • Caroline Brock says:

      Thank you for these thoughts Cameron. It is always fascinating to me to hear about how each of us internalizes and absorbs different religious-based teachings and rituals. I don’t think Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were concerned with women needing more privacy during the ceremony, but I’m appreciate that it’s provided you with that, and has enabled you to feel that the ceremony has a more intimate feel. Thanks for sharing!

  4. To tell the truth I don’t appreciate sentences like “leave the garden of immaturity”. This implies that sisters who have come to a different conclusion are immature and that the author knows where to go.
    She also says she won’t be back until the church has reached her wisdom, which – sorry to say – isn’t a mature attitude.

    • Caroline Brock says:

      HI Lady Wilhelmina! Thanks for the feedback. I sense some anger and frustration underlying your comment, as if you’re saying “How dare you think you’re mature and the church is not!”. I hear that, and I can assure you there are many different ways I have not yet matured. We are all a work in progress. Perhaps I can explain this “immaturity” idea further…
      There are many ways to interpret the Adam and Eve story. Understanding that the garden is a place of immaturity and ignorance is not new or revolutionary. In my own life, I will have to leave the “garden” many times at different dilations as I step into new parts of my soul’s path. Recognizing that when we choose wisdom and greater knowledge, there is a death of the old self, and old notions we were once certain of is essential. It’s a process that, once cycled through, becomes a deep pattern for progression.
      I can’t be a part of a ceremony that doesn’t truly feed me, inform me or mature me. There is no need. I don’t say this as a criticism or to criticize other people who stay and find meaning it. It’s merely a statement. Heck, I woke up at 4:30 AM for 18 months straight writing a book on the temple. It was the epicenter of my worship and growth, until one day I left the garden.
      Perhaps there will come a time when the church will realize that it only has one half of the beginnings of a mystic tradition, and that half is wounded and needs revision. It will be wonderful day when the leaders actually recognize that the “endowment” or gift needs to have female divinity woven into the fabric of it, rather than adjustments made by men. It could be so much more beautiful, uplifting and fulfilling. It could help us understand how to fully embody holiness, and ascend to greater levels of consciousness. But it is not that now, and rising up to call for more “wholeness” in the ceremony is a holy work, not an immature undertaking. On this point, we will have to disagree. Thank you for sharing, however. By doing so, we can connect and learn to understand each other in deeper ways.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.